Architects benefit from the Design & Build system for fit-out

The new JLL office in the tower building Warsaw Spire, as well as Warsaw headquarters of MMC and Whirlpool, are examples of the recent implementation of Design & Build. This model is based on joined proceedings, within a single platform, of all stakeholders involved in the delivery of a fit-out project: representatives of the client, architect and contractor.

The term ‘design & build’ has been known for years, especially in the USA, however, its understanding in Poland is slightly different. – There is plenty of great Architectural Studios on our market and therefore, the strength of most of the projects that we deliver, comes from good cooperation with them - says Rajmund Węgrzynek, Managing Director of Tétris Poland. Contrary to the popular opinion, Design & Build does not necessarily mean that the contractor must always provide in-house services of architects.

Let’s try to imagine that adaptation of the interior is a mosaic composed of hundreds of components, like the vision of a client, the contribution of architects, construction works, analysis of regulations, relationship with the manager of the building, coordination of technical teams, etc. The Design & Build formula puts full responsibility for all stages of the process on the contractor. The contractor is responsible to the customer - acts as the coordinator, mediator, settlement institution and the quality auditor, completing all missing elements. Architect can be part of the contractor’s team or work with him as an independent studio. In both cases, the principle is one: the project from the very beginning is analysed in terms of feasibility and budget. Thanks to that the architect can be confident that the proposed artistic vision will be delivered, because there is no risk that it will fall victim to compromises related to some problems in other areas of the project.

What makes Design & Build contractors special, is that they have their own architects acting as an "interpreter" between an independent studio and a technical team. With this kind of help the author of the design can be sure that his intentions are well understood. - Working with a client is a creative process. On one hand we have their expectations and on the other technical conditions of the building or the contractor. We have to put these two things together and implement in the specific building. It’s like blending water and fire. - emphasizes Katarzyna Bursche of Kaim and Bursche Architects studio – To assure smooth working process, all information should be verified on a regular basis by an experienced partner who has experience in the management of complex projects. As a result, we can avoid any off the mark assumptions, and we can be sure that our project meets all requirements of the customer while it’s still feasible. We avoid wasting time on a gathering information we need to prepare the design.

Design & Build system awakened some concerns among architects. They begun to wonder if a company offering integrated services of interior finishing is not going to be, by definition, their competition. Today we know that this kind of worries were unnecessary. International fit-out companies deliver projects in a worldwide scale; often in several countries for the same client. In cooperation with them architectural studios gain opportunities to work on some very interesting and big projects. – I am absolutely not afraid of the Design & Build model. What I appreciate the most is the sense of security that I gain through cooperation, which is based on good communication. I can manage my time and my team much better, simply because I know where the project is heading. - sums up Bartosz Trzop from the studio Trzop Architects.

This approach reduces risks of investment at every stage. It allows to plan expenses in full transparency which, in the end, results in quality. - If we are in close contact with the customer from the very beginning of the work, we have a chance to study their needs as a future user: consider who will work there, which appliances or spaces are exploited the most, how many meetings are going to take place in the office, etc. With that knowledge we choose the most reliable, long-term solutions. - emphasizes Danuta Baranska, Creative Director of Tétris Polska.

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